“Halo” by Beyoncé is one of the most famous ballads of the late 2000s, however, it was originally going to sound very different. Beyoncé wanted the track to sound like a song by a famous band. Despite this, her collaborator decided to make the song sound different for a very specific reason.
‘Halo’ by Beyoncé was co-written by this famous artist
Firstly, a little background. Ryan Tedder is an incredibly famous and successful songwriter. He’s written hits like Adele’s “Rumor Has It,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone,” and Ella Henderson’s “Ghost.” In addition, he’s also the lead singer of the pop-rock band OneRepublic, which gave the world hits like “Apologize,” “Good Life,” and “Counting Stars.” According to Rolling Stone, Queen B reached out to work with Tedder because she was a fan of a certain OneRepublic track.
“I was on tour with OneRepublic and I blew out my achilles heel, which sent me into surgery and then flew me home to L.A.,” Tedder told Entertainment Weekly. “I couldn’t work, couldn’t do anything and it got old really quick. Beyoncé had called me a month before. She wanted me to write her a song like [OneRepublic’s] ‘Come Home.’ I was like, ‘I’ll write you a song, but let me do whatever comes naturally.’ I had not written a song in probably two months at this point, I called my friend Evan Bogart and said, ‘I got three hours by myself today, I’m going crazy, can you come over, let’s write for Beyoncé.’”
The opening of ‘Halo’ by Beyoncé was a happy accident
Tedder ultimately composed “Halo” for Beyoncé. Interestingly, the track’s angelic theme was a happy accident. “I turned on my keyboard, and the very first thing that came out sounded like a bunch of angels singing, and that’s the intro of ‘Halo,’” Tedder recalled. “It was total luck that the particular keyboard patch that came on sounded like angels.”
Originally, “Halo” was going to have lyrics in its bridge. However, Beyoncé decided to sing the melody of the bridge rather than perform the lyrics intended for that part of the song.
How the world reacted to Queen B’s song vs. OneRepublic’s ‘Coming Home’
“Halo” was originally supposed to sound like “Come Home.” This raises an interesting question: Which song performed better on the American charts? The version of “Come Home” featuring Sara Bareilles reached No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. Considering OneRepublic released top 10 hits, like “Apologize,” “Counting Stars,” and “Good Life,” this was not one of their more popular singles.
On the other hand, “Halo” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. While Beyoncé released a number of songs like “Perfect” and “Irreplaceable” which charted higher, “Halo” was still a bona fide hit. In addition, “Halo” gained renewed attention when the Glee cast covered it for an episode of their beloved sitcom. Perhaps Tedder made the right decision by allowing “Halo” to be its own song rather than a copy of “Come Home.”
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